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  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    I've not really seen the other ones, and the final film doesn't come on telly ever, prob for the reasons you give; its brutality.
    I think the Nap Solo actor Robert Vaughan might have been better in the role of the CIA man, he had more credibility but was the same type of actor. Maybe they couldn't get him.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,172MI6 Agent
    Green Book

    Inspired by a true story, this is basically a road movie involving a mismatched pair.

    It's 1962. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) is a bouncer at the Copacabana who is temporarily out of work when the club closes for repairs. He's a first-generation Italian-American and lives with his wife and two sons in a one-room apartment in the Bronx neighborhood in which he grew up. He's a bit of a hustler, very good with his fists, and a racist.

    Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is a black jazz pianist with multiple doctoral degrees, erudite and sophisticated as can be, but also quite tortured and lonely. He needs a driver to shuttle him on a two-month concert tour, which includes numerous dates in the Deep South.

    The two connect, and Dr. Shirley hires Tony. Of course, at first they are oil and water, but long drives force them to learn about one another. Not surprisingly, they form a bond.

    This is a feel-good film whose intentions and plot can be sensed from a mile away, but it was fun -- and quite funny. The two lead performances are excellent. Ali has a royal bearing that is perfect for the imperious jazzman. And Mortensen hasn't been this much fun in years, maybe ever -- his Tony is a hilarious "deez and doze" kind of guy whose heart and mind have more room for growth than initially seems possible.

    Ultimately, I can't suggest you rush out and immediately see this one, but it's worth spending a couple of hours on. If you're like me, you will be smiling for most of it.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 19,982MI6 Agent
    U - 22 July

    This is a movie about the terror attack on Utøya in 2011. Erik Poppe is one of Norway's best directors and and his approach is worth writing about. He interviewed survivors and involved them in the scriptwriting and behind the scenes of the filming. The movie was filmed on an island next to Utøya. The camera is almost always on Kaya (Andrea Berntzen) who is looking for her younger sister while she tries to keep herself alive. Everything is filmed by one handheld camera, but it's not "shakycam". Only the cameraman, a grip and a soundman followed the actors, the the rest of the crew hid in a boathouse. The director followed the filming on a screen and gave directions to the cameraman via earplugs. The whole movie (other than a few minutes of real footage from Oslo at the begining) is in seemingly one long take. There are in fact two hidden cuts, but only to mask the longer distance from the tent camp to the shore in the location compared to Utøya. The three-man crew just turned off the camera, walked a couple of hundred meters, turned on the camera and continued filming. They had only five days to try to get the perfect take and could not attempt more than one take a day. The take from the fourth day has been used for the final movie.

    The terrorist is only seen for a few seconds as a shadow in the distance. We hear shots from loudspeakers from factually correct distances, directions and rates of fire along with cries for mercy. It was a very demanding shoot for the crew and actors.
    Nearly all the actors are young unknowns with little or no acting experience. Especially given the very difficult job, both technically and emotionally, the actors give us hugely impressive perfomances. The director claims Andrea Berntzen is one of the most talented actresses in her generation in the Nordic countries and perhaps all of Europe. I don't disagree. They are playing fictional characters, but the situations they are put in and their actions are based on fact. The director has been very careful not to make this an action movie or a gore-fest. I think he handled it all very tastefully while not sugar-coating it.

    I have rated this movie among one of the best I've seen this year. I can recomend it highly, but the subject matter is very difficult and it's not for everyone.


    English trailer: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=u+22+july+erik+poppe+trailer&&view=detail&mid=FC4AB59BE8A9BFA9004CFC4AB59BE8A9BFA9004C&&FORM=VRDGAR
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,172MI6 Agent
    Roma

    Alfonso Cuarón's autobiographical film depicting the Mexico City he grew up in during the early 1970s, told from the perspective of the domestic servant who raised him. There's been a lot of buzz for this one within the film festival circuit, and for good reason. It is a stunning film to look at and listen to, shot in black and white with many long-track and wide-pan shots, and entirely without a score. It is also entirely without a conventional plot, but rather a series of anecdotes that sometimes are resolved but often are not. The actors are mostly first-timers that Cuarón and his team found through auditions, often in small villages. Wow, are they good.

    Without being preachy or heavy-handed, the film depicts the racism, sexism, class divisions -- and especially the brutally repressive political climate -- that plagued Mexico back then (and in some ways still do).

    It's not for everyone, but this is a true work of art in the best sense of the term. Highly recommended.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    From the sublime to the ridiculous...

    Rambo III


    Belated, out of time sequel from 1988. Rambo goes into Afghanistan to vanquish the Soviets when at that time they were pulling out of their own accord anyway. Worse, Sly's unironic big haired look had fallen behind to the clean-cut quippery of Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson and Arnie. Oh, and Timothy Dalton... :#

    That said, decades later, none of that irks so much. I enjoyed this movie in a lazy sort of way. It's set around the same time as GoldenEye, or I should say, GE's pre-credits sequence. So it's pleasing to see the same detonator timers in use to go off in a few minutes time, as well as the Soviet tanks - Sly's posturing with a machine gun seems to be used by Brosnan in his debut too.

    The film lacks a third act or maybe new reveal. You might expect Rambo to realise once he's got out there that he's been tricked by the Americans in some way, to give more fire to his ire. Instead it becomes a rather conventional thing - his boss gets held hostage when he's out there, so he goes into rescue him and lay waste to the Russian army. Okay, but it's not exactly vengeful, so it removes a vital ingredient of Rambo's character, that sense of betrayal we saw in the first two films.

    His boss is better in this film than the first but is given some horribly corny lines.

    I think Douglas Slocombe, whose mentor was legendary lenser Jack Cardiff, was cinematographer. He also worked on The Italian Job, The Lady Vanishes and Never Say Never Again.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,842Chief of Staff
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I expected this to be pretty much a jokey mash-up, and in some respects it is--you've got Spider-Man Noir and The Spectacular Spider-Ham rubbing shoulders with more serious versions of the hero--but it's also a well-written, often exciting, and (surprisingly) often moving foray into the Spider-Man mythos. Oh, it's also a blast. Go see it!
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,842Chief of Staff
    Finally watched Aquaman. Not as good as Wonder Woman, but a thousand times better than Suicide Squad. It starts a little slow, but once the heroes go into an adventure to find a triton it becomes a lot of fun. In fact, at times it reminded me one of those old Ray Harryhousen Sinbad movies. I hope this shows that the DC movies are getting in step. . .
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,172MI6 Agent
    VICE

    Christian Bale, transforming his body yet again, absolutely disappears into the role of Dick Cheney, GW Bush's Vice President. Directed by Adam McKay in a similar style to The Big Short (narration, breaking of the 4th wall, insertion of real-life footage, celebrity cameos, onscreen text), the film chronicles Cheney's rise from ne'er-do-well Yale dropout to arguably the most powerful VP in US history. The story is interesting, but it's a polemical film, and McKay's hatred of Cheney means he attributes just about everything bad in the world to the man. Well-told though it may be, it all becomes a bit much by the end. The major players (Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell) are all very good, but the film left me rolling my eyes in fatigue when it was over, unlike The Big Short, after which I could have run a marathon to release all my anger.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    MARGIN CALL (2011). I watched this one on the recommendation of a coworker and I'm glad I did. Even with Kevin Spacey in it, it's a pretty effective actor's showcase with everyone putting in some incredible work. It's about the 2008 financial crisis and essentially follows a low level risk analyst at a wall street firm following up on the work of his boss and seeing that the firm is about to lose everything. What follows is essentially an intense situation where, over the course of one night, the firm decides on their next course of action. It's really gripping and exceedingly well done. Jeremy Irons, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, Zachary Quinto, and (ick) Kevin Spacey all shine in this.

    Highly recommended. It's playing on Amazon Prime right now if you have it.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,842Chief of Staff
    Mary Poppins Returns. That's right: the crusty ol' Hardyboy saw a Disney film about a magical flying nanny. I'll admit it: I love the original and I wanted to see how the long-delayed sequel would stack up. Hmmm. You really do have to take it on its own terms, in which case it's fine: Emily Blunt is very good in the title role (as Mary Poppins, not as the Returns), and everything moves at a pippy pace. The problem is that the movie openly begs comparison to the original: instead of Bert, we've got Jack (and I hope my English friends find Lin-Manuel Miranda's Cockney accent more acceptable than was Dick Van Dyke's), instead of the medicine chest we get the bathtub, instead of Ed Wynn on the ceiling we get Meryl Streep on the ceiling, instead of dancing chimney sweeps we have dancing lamplighters, etc., etc. There's also the problem of a much darker tone (set during the Depression, right after the death of good ol' Ben Wishaw's wife) and the fact the songs are just serviceable. . .you won't come out of the theater humming any tunes. So, again, take it for what it's worth. . .
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    Your review is almost exactly what I've heard from others: she's great, the tunes aren't memorable, and it feels like a remake.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 33,441Chief of Staff
    Quatermass And The Pit

    I've posted about this story before, it being one of my favourites, though normally about the 1967 Hammer film, and have just spent an enjoyable 3 hours rewatching the original 1958-59 BBC b&w serial. Dated, obviously, but still great stuff- I particularly enjoyed how the story begins with trivial events and builds relentlessly including sci-fi and occult elements to a gripping climax.
    Much of this was re-used by Dr Who among others, and it strongly influenced Stephen King's "The Tommyknockers". André Morell is just fine as Quatermass (though I prefer Andrew Keir in the Hammer version), but the standout performance is from Cec Linder as his best friend- and Cec Linder as the hero's best friend should be very very familiar to us Bond fans....
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,172MI6 Agent
    A couple, on a cross-country plane flight just before the new year...

    ARRIVAL
    Quite a lovely film, with Amy Adams starring as a linguist assigned to decode the language of extraterrestrials who have landed spacecraft in 12 locations around the world. In this film, the aliens are more good than bad, with most humans the opposite. But some clumsy political subplots aside, the film is really about Adams's character, who uses the experience as a means to both purge herself of and to revisit a tragedy in her life. There's a twist at the end that I don't entirely understand, but I found the whole thing uplifting. Beautiful, both visually and sonically.

    THE DEATH OF STALIN
    Wow, if only all black comedies were this good. In 1953, Stalin dies, and a massive power vacuum ensues. Various Soviet higher-ups (Khrushchev, Beria, Malenkov, Molotov, etc.) jockey for position in an attempt to take over. Steve Buscemi, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Isaacs are among the cast, and Bond veteran Olga Kurylenko shows up in a small but important role. Everyone plays their parts in their native accents (or close to them) so you have Buscemi talking American English as Khrushchev, Beale sounding British as Beria, etc. This was a great decision, as opposed to having everyone sport a bad Russian accent (as in, say, The Hunt for Red October). The story is alternatively brutal and hilarious, and all the players bring their A-games, particularly Beale, who is absolutely amazing as the vile Beria. Probably the best film I saw in 2018.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    I've heard nothing but great things about THE DEATH OF STALIN. I need to see that one.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,634Chief of Staff
    Gymkata wrote:
    I've heard nothing but great things about THE DEATH OF STALIN. I need to see that one.

    You do...it’s excellent -{
    YNWA 97
    Currently Head of Station C: Canada 🇨🇦
  • UnderwaterBattle007UnderwaterBattle007 Posts: 283MI6 Agent
    Red Sparrow, a gritty espionage thriller, in the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy mould.

    I haven't enjoyed a spy film like this for absolute ages, and part of me wishes there could be an X rated James Bond film.

    A torture scene well there's a couple of believable ones in this movie, Plus Jennifer Lawrence (or her body double) has wonderful tits!!!

    A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in darkest North West of England, where it's been unrelenting pissing down rain and freezing cold!!
    FRWl, CR, OHMSS, TSWLM, SF, GF, TLD, LTK, TND, FYEO, OP,TWINE, GE, LALD, TB, SPECTRE, DN, YOLT, TMWTGG, QOS, MR, DAF, DAD, AVTAK, NTTD.

    "Do you expect me to talk? "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    We loved RED SPARROW as well. I honestly thought it was one of the better films that I saw in 2018 and a superior espionage/spy thriller. First rate acting from everyone, too.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    Layer Cake on telly, too many ads though.

    It's odd seeing this all those years later, it reminds me of The Craig Wars that broke out... :)) At times, Craig looks more Bond in this than he ever did in his movies, very young and cool. He never quite looked that young and cool as Bond. At others, you can see why many railed against him, his looks are very changeable and imo his face looked better in the last one, more filled in with age, though maybe he's had some work done.

    I do also prefer this movie to his Bonds, I wish they'd gone with Matthew Vaughan as director for CR. So many of his camera set-ups looks so cool and classy, esp as all of it is shot in and around London. I just like the easy style of the movie, I find I want to watch it if it's on.

    Sarah Hawkins had a small role in it, as the clueless gangster's girlfriend! She's got one hell of a range.

    Craig does very well in this, but it helps he's part of an ensemble cast, something the Bond producers only really picked up on by his third film. He's great, he elevates the film; you can imagine James McAvoy or Ewan McGregor in a film like this, and you'd know what to expect of course - in some ways it might make for an easier viewing experience but Craig has more surprises.

    In many ways this feels like the real Casino Royale to me, in particular the whole learning curve of the character and his first kill, etc.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir Hillary BraySir Hillary Bray College of ArmsPosts: 2,172MI6 Agent
    Layer Cake...

    Sarah Hawkins had a small role in it, as the clueless gangster's girlfriend! She's got one hell of a range.
    Fantastic film, so much better than the Ritchies that preceded it. Gambon's sermon at the end is worth the price of admission all by itself (by the way, his is the ugliest tan I've ever seen). Unfortunately, for me, nothing Vaughn has directed since then has measured up.

    Think you mean Sally Hawkins, but you're right, she's great in this film and terrific in general. Ever see her (and a very young James Corden) in Mike Leigh's All or Nothing? Depressing film, but great performances all around.
    Hilly...you old devil!
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    Yeah, Sally Hawkins, that's who I meant! No, I haven't seen All or Nothing. (Saw Everything or Nothing of course... :D )

    It's odd, there are films like that that simply never get a showing on telly.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,634Chief of Staff
    Stan & Ollie...an absolutely wonderful, touching and heartwarming film...both leads are superb...but you will know this if you’ve seen it...and if not...why not?
    Glorious -{
    YNWA 97
    Currently Head of Station C: Canada 🇨🇦
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE

    This is an absolute joy of a film. This is one of the most entertaining and engaging films that I've seen from 2018. The animation is fantastic and vibrant, the voice acting is top notch, and the story is very clever. It's easily the best Spiderman movie and is probably one of the best superhero movies that I've ever seen. Loved every second of it.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,842Chief of Staff
    I saw Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Absolutely stunning. I study the war and teach literature from it (mainly the poetry), but this made me feel like I was there.
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,634Chief of Staff
    Hardyboy wrote:
    I saw Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Absolutely stunning. I study the war and teach literature from it (mainly the poetry), but this made me feel like I was there.

    I watched this just before Christmas...it is stunning...and also brutal...and touching...and funny...
    Adding sound - as well as colour - just adds more layers of reality...it’s an epic piece that is a fitting tribute to all that fought in that horrible war.
    YNWA 97
    Currently Head of Station C: Canada 🇨🇦
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    Modesty Blaise

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    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    Tom and Jerry

    Acclaimed bittersweet drama in which the 1930s cinema comics reunite decades after their heyday for a low-budget tour of Britain. There they find themselves playing to empty seats and up against the modern day competition such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, who are cleaning up.

    There's a bit of baggage between the two, and it becomes clear that Jerry is carrying his partner somewhat, especially as Tom is not in the best of health - his back legs have gone and his tail has gone a bit mangey. There's bad blood also from the time Tom went off to do a Rentokil commercial by himself. He also spends time gambling, betting on dog fights (this features a cameo from Spike the Dog.)

    It's not bad, though it's not quite plausible that the pair should be able to recreate their skit with the piano (Tom is clearly not playing the instrument as Jerry bops up and down around the piano keys) and the shots of the audience doubled up with laughter seem a bit laid on (the film seems to have been in debt to the Tom and Jerry foundation) but otherwise this works quite well.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,580MI6 Agent
    Sir Miles wrote:
    Stan & Ollie...an absolutely wonderful, touching and heartwarming film...both leads are superb...but you will know this if you’ve seen it...and if not...why not?
    Glorious -{

    I popped in here to see if anyone had seen it. I'm going to wait till it's out on dvd/online but I'm looking forward to it. I have a real soft spot for Stan and Ollie.

    Coogan is a surprisingly good actor even if his Bond impressions area little dodgy.


    I watched the Bruce Willis remake of Death Wish recently. Not as bad as I thought it would be. Quite watchable in a Bruce Willis shoot 'em up kind of way.
  • HardyboyHardyboy Posts: 5,842Chief of Staff
    Lady Rose wrote:
    Sir Miles wrote:
    Stan & Ollie...an absolutely wonderful, touching and heartwarming film...both leads are superb...but you will know this if you’ve seen it...and if not...why not?
    Glorious -{

    I popped in here to see if anyone had seen it. I'm going to wait till it's out on dvd/online but I'm looking forward to it. I have a real soft spot for Stan and Ollie.

    Coogan is a surprisingly good actor even if his Bond impressions area little dodgy.

    I saw it just yesterday, in an exclusive showing. It was exclusive because I was the only one in the auditorium! Well, their loss. This is an absolutely beautiful film--it's about the kind of love only real friends can have--and Coogan and Reilly entirely lose themselves inside their roles. Even if you're not a Laurel & Hardy fan, this is a film to be cherished.
    Vox clamantis in deserto
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,716MI6 Agent
    Widows

    Heist move with a new slant.

    It opens with a furious chase, in which our heroes Tom & Jerry are both pursued by the cops and an angry black maid with a broom, and unexpectedly ends when a huge fridge crashes down on them both, and promptly explodes.
    Left behind are Mrs Tom and Mrs Jerry, who are about to face eviction for their late husbands' crimes. They decide to hatch their own spin-off show and carry on where their partners left off.
    It's not bad but becomes less credible as it goes on, as it's not quite believable that they could assume this criminal cartoon lifestyle so seamlessly. Plus, we never saw the old Tom and Jerry use getaway cars, the action was mostly confined to the house.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 4,148MI6 Agent
    THE AMERICAN (2010) with George Clooney.

    Pretty solid, no frills thriller. It's not very action packed but what IS in there feels authentic, which is refreshing.

    Clooney plays an assassin/arms dealer in Europe. After the opening sequences, he ends up in a small town in Italy brokering an arms job for a customer. He faces fallout from what happened in the opening sequences and also deals with some friendships/relationships that he fosters in this small town.

    I like films that show the process of how things get done, and this film does a lot of that. You see Clooney doing some spycraft, and you also see him physically do things like acquire a rifle, make modifications to it, test it out...essentially, you get to see 'how the sausage gets made'. I find that stuff fascinating, and it all comes off as being 100% legit.

    I also have to say, the main female in this movie is...GORGEOUS. Played by Violante Placido, she's just...wow. Too bad that we never got her as a Bond girl/woman because she would have been amazing.

    Recommended if you like a slower, more deliberate kind of thriller.
    Current rankings (updated 12/21)
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>NTTD>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>DN>YOLT>OP>
    TND>TWINE>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
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